House Hunting Checklist
The Best Tips for Finding Your New Home
Written By: Mariko Baerg, REALTOR of Bridgewell Real Estate Group
If you’re looking for a realtor to help you purchase a property, call me today!
If you’re thinking of looking for a new property to purchase then there’s a lot to keep track of.
This blog will provide you with a house hunting checklist, outlining all the keys points to ensure a successful home purchase.
Keep reading for your ultimate house hunting checklist!
Know your budget – Get pre-approved
The first thing to do to prepare for house hunting is to know your budget. To avoid wasting your time on properties you can’t afford, it’s important that you speak to a mortgage broker or your bank to get pre-approved and determine what you can afford.
Research the neighbourhood
Location, location, location! Before you start taking a look at houses you’ll want to first determine which neighbourhoods you’d like your home to be in. Some style of homes may only be specific to certain neighbourhoods, or maybe you prefer a certain catchment area for a school, or maybe it’s a priority to be close to transit.
Write down what your list of priorities are in terms of location, and then figure out what neighbourhoods and cities match those priorities best. Driving through neighbourhoods throughout different times of the day can also help you to decide where your favourite place to live will be!
Get help! Hire a realtor
Purchasing a home is one of the most important decisions and commitments you’ll make in your life, and it’s not something you do everyday. Enlisting a realtor to help you with your purchase means you’ll have someone representing your best interests that deals with the real estate process on a daily basis.
Hiring a realtor to help you purchase a home is also a FREE service – the seller pays the commission, not the buyer. By hiring a realtor you will have someone booking the showings, providing helpful information on different homes and areas, guiding you throughout the process, negotiating on your behalf, and so much more.
If you’re looking for a realtor to help you purchase a home, click here to learn more about the Bridgewell difference: Buying with Bridgewell
Determine a list of important requirements (needs)
First things first, you’ll want to create a list of needs. This will typically consist of the following five items:
- Number of bedrooms
- Number of bathrooms
- Minimum square footage
- Maximum budget
You may have additional needs, but the above are the most common that we would solely classify as a need.
Pro Tip: Really consider whether something is a want or a need, and determine your priorities from the start. For example, does the building need to be within 2-5-10 warranty or is that more of a preference?
Make a list of wants
Once you’ve determined what you need then start going through your list of wants for your new home. Many times these are cosmetic things like quartz countertops, hardwood flooring, or stainless steel appliances – but they may also be things like the extra parking stall that would be great but isn’t required.
Write down your list of wants in terms of most important to least important, and try to keep it no more than a list of 5 wants.
Keep a list to rate your favourites
When you’re going through a property, keep track of each property by promptly writing down a list of all the pros and cons of the home.
Every time you see a new property, go back and rate it in comparison to the last property to determine which one comes out on top. By doing this after each viewing you’ll be able to keep a scorecard, which will help you to determine which property you prefer to write an offer on.
Get answers to all the important questions
There are a lot of things to keep track of when it comes to buying a home. While most focus on cosmetic things like countertops and flooring, you’ll also want to get answers to the important (all less sexy) questions like the following:
- Age of roof and warranty if any
- Hot water tank age and information
- Furnace age
- Location of hot water shutoff
- When were the windows last replaced?
- Are the appliances under warranty?
If you’re purchasing a strata property you’ll also want answers for the following:
- What is the strata maintenance fee
- What’s included in maintenance fee
- Are there any special levies coming up?
- Is there a depreciation report?
Wear your open house shoes!
If you’re out house hunting the make sure to wear the proper footwear. You’ll be going to check out on average anywhere between 3-5 listings per tour, and won’t want to be burdened with taking your lace up shoes on and off each time.
If you know you’re looking at properties, opt for slip ons, flip flops, flats, or something easy to remove. If you really can’t stand going barefoot in the house, make sure you wear socks with your shoes.
Check the drawers, cupboards & closets
Make sure there’s enough storage space, and don’t be afraid to look in the drawers, cupboards and closets to ensure that there is ample space for you in the home. While you might feel you’re being nosy, keep in mind that this is your potential new home and the sellers will be expecting you to be gathering information about it.
If you really like a place, you should also open kitchen and bathroom drawers, cupboard, and cabinets as well to get a feel for where you will put all of your things.
Get an inspection and check the interior
Once you have an accepted offer on a property make sure that you hire a professional and licensed inspector to carefully inspect the property to ensure that everything is in proper working order. We also recommend that you keep a sharp eye out for the following during the house hunting process:
- Are the systems all working – like heating, electrical, and plumbing?
- Do all the doors latch?
- Is there insulation in the attic?
- Are there any leaks? History of wind fire or water damage? Infestations?
- Are all the faucets and sinks working properly?
- Are the appliances all working?
- Is there moisture in the walls?
- Is there any damage to the foundation?
- Is there proper ventilation? How is the roof?
If you’re looking to purchase a property and would like guidance on how to get the ball rolling, then give us a call. We’re happy to walk you through the process so that you have a clear idea of the best ways to find your dream home. Start a conversation by calling 604-765-0376. Prefer text? 604-319-0200 or email [email protected] to start a conversation. We’re here to help.
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